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Foreigner Steals the Show at Cleveland Classic Rock Triple Header Concert

Foreigner
Ultimate Classic Rock

Foreigner delivered a shockingly fun and powerful show at the Blossom Music Center near Cleveland, Ohio last night (Aug. 2). In fact, no disrespect to headliner Journey or openers Night Ranger, who both played great, but we’re giving Mick Jones and his ever-evolving band the title belt for best show of the evening.

At first it didn’t seem likely. Guitarist and Foreigner founder Jones is the only original member left from the iconic ’70s band, and he’s surrounded himself with a group of (relative) youngsters that almost makes him appear out of place on his own stage.

It prompted a few jokes from the UCR camp members in attendance ( Matt Wardlaw: “Forgot to tell you Jack Nicholson plays guitar for Foreigner now,” the wife: “He looks like Chevy Chase in the cast photo from ‘Community‘), but once the six-piece band, featuring Jeff Pilson from Dokken on bass, kicked in, the snickering stopped quickly.

That’s in no small part due to the band’s born-for-this frontman, Kelly Hansen, who faithfully but not slavishly recreated just about every nuance from original vocalist Lou Gramm’s work while also energetically commanding the stage, whipping the humidity-suffering crowd into an impressive frenzy.

The rest of the group performed equally admirably, clearly devoting a lot of energy to a setlist entirely filled with classic rock hits such as ‘Double Vision,’ ‘Feels Like the First Time’ and the set-closing ‘Juke Box Hero.’

The band didn’t play any new songs, and they didn’t apologize for their mellower hit ballads, delivering both ‘Waiting for a Girl Like You’ and ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’ in solid performances that had the audience swaying with their iPhones all lit up.  There were no solo instrumental spotlights, although they did work up some good guitar-led instrumental piece as new introductions to chestnuts like ‘Hot Blooded.’

Quite simply, Foreigner delivered the best performances of the most hit-packed setlist on the best-looking stage of the night, with Hansen darting into, around, and over the crowd most of the night in a successful attempt to give ticket-buyers their money’s worth. Very, very impressive stuff all around.

Don’t believe us? Tune in tonight (Aug. 3) as Foreigner and Journey’s concerts from Cincinnati are broadcast live on the radio and the internet.

Watch Foreigner Perform ‘Cold as Ice’ in Detroit

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